Date of birth:
- Professor emeritus
- Doctor of Science
- Professor retired – Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Zagreb
Membership in Academy:
- associate member – Department of Mathematical, Physical and Chemical Sciences (05/17/1990 – …)
Vladimir Knapp was born in Sarajevo, May 16, 1929, and since 1936 is living in Zagreb. In 1954 obtained B.Sc. in Theoretical physics at the Faculty of Natural science and Mathematics of University of Zagreb. In years 1954-1957 Ph.D. work on nuclear scattering of gamma rays at the Physics Department of University of Birmingham, UK, where he obtained Ph.D. in 1957. Postdoctoral work at the Institute Rudjer Boskovic in Zagreb in the Nuclear physics department, respectively Nuclear spectroscopy laboratory. In the years 1961-62 Research fellow at Physics department of Birmingham University on invitation by Professor Moon. Subsequent work at the Institute Rudjer Boskovic was mainly on gamma spectroscopy and partly on Moessbauer effect. Since 1963 head of Nuclear spectroscopy laboratory.
His involvement with nuclear energy starts with appointment into Scientific council of Yugoslav Federal Atomic Energy Commission in 1962, where he developed opposition to some problematic Commission plans. In 1965 takes the position of Associate professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of Zagreb University. Since 1967 is a head of Physics Department, for most time until his retirement in 1996. Full professor since 1975. His research work at Physics department was partly nuclear physics, but in later years increasingly in nuclear energy. Extensively involved in preparation of building of nuclear power plant Krsko. In 1974 he spent half a year at the Nuclear Engineering Department of the University of Tokyo, which resulted in the proposal to introduce nuclear engineering teaching at the Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Following these beginnings, two internationally recognized nuclear energy group are now part of the Faculty. His work in nuclear energy dealt with the issues of long-term perspective of nuclear energy and its safety, with nuclear fuel cycle and with construction of nuclear shielding and of spent fuel casks.
Author is of a number of studies dealing with economics and operation of NPP Krsko. 1983-1986 participant of IAEA coordinated research project “Potential Role of Advanced Reactors to World Energy Supply”. Two of his books published in 1985 and 1993 gave up to date coverage of all important issues relating to use and development of nuclear fission and fusion.
After his retirement in 1996 he was elected Professor Emeritus at the Faculty, which allowed him to continue in research work. For many years he was occupied with the problem of compatibility of military and peaceful use of nuclear energy, actively participating in many Pugwash conferences and acting as a chairman of Croatian Pugwash Group.
When in 1992 Croatian Nuclear Society was formed, he was elected its first President. In this function and as Program Committee Chairman he initiated annual Society conferences, which have now developed into internationally recognized biannual conferences on «Nuclear energy in countries with small and medium electricity grids».
After his retirement he devoted much of his time to the problem of demining. Finding safer and faster methods of demining was recognized as a humanistic and scientific challenge to which responded many of leading world laboratories.
As an associate member of Croatian Academy of Science and Arts, he organized interdisciplinary group within Academy, which tried to evaluate various proposed new methods of mine detection. When in 1998 Croatian government formed Croatian Mine Action Center (CROMAC), this Academy group offered its assistance and became Scientific council to CROMAC, and Professor Knapp its chairman. With about 30 highly qualified members Scientific council now covers wide range of possible methods and its members are at present active in three large international programs to develop new mine detection methods.